28 Jan 2014

Drew Avera: “Reich”

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“Reich” by Drew Avera is a cleverly told story with intrigue and some surprises. Told from changing viewpoints we get to see different perspectives of what has become of Germany 158 years after Hitler’s death.
I was hesitant to read yet another ‘what-if’ scenario about post-WWII Germany but let me assure you that there is much more to the story than just that one idea and narrative and characters are expertly done.
It is a fast paced, well plotted and gripping thriller that surprised me throughout and made it difficult to stop once I had started. The futuristic set up is well explained in the first action packed scenes that see a young boy run from the authorities. Chapter 2 moves across to the law enforcer who pursues the young man and ultimately the perspective shifts to the young man’s mother. This accomplished set up allows for the story to remain centre stage, which I felt was one of biggest achievements in a book that I feared might rely only on one particular idea.
Not what one might expect, but actually much better.

7021546Interview with Drew:
Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person.
My name is Drew Avera (pronounced Avery). I was born and raised in Mississippi until I was 17. That was when I joined the Navy and work as an aviation electrician. I have been in the Navy for over 13 years. I am married with 2 daughters and we live in Virginia. I also play guitar in a hard rock band. My favorite band is Alter Bridge and I’m listening to them while I fill out this question form.
What made you become a writer? Have you always written?
I had an idea of becoming a writer when I was a teenager fascinated with comic books. It wasn’t until I turned thirty that I decided to do anything about it. I’ve been writing for about a year and a half now and I love it. I just wish I could go back and light a fire under the younger me’s butt to get started earlier.
When did you decided to write your chosen genres? Do you have a favourite genre?
I was huge into comic books growing up so it seemed like a natural place to start in science fiction. After writing a couple of stories I decided that I really enjoyed the thriller element in books that I had been reading. I tend to mix genre a bit within the same story. I will be publishing a load of novellas and books this year that range from serial killer science fiction to urban fantasy with a romantic quality to it. I’m branching out and dipping my toes to check the water in a lot of stuff this year.
How long does it take you to write and publish a book?
That varies on length, I am about to publish a novella in the same month that I started it, but usually the process for a book is a few months or more.
What is the easiest part about writing and what is the hardest?
The easiest for me is coming up with the story. I have a hyperactive imagination. The hardest part is staying on task with my butt in the chair, I tend to want to write all of the stories at the same time. I need to focus in order to get any of it done.
Would you say there is a message in the book beyond the story? Do you find it is well received and picked up by the reviewers?
There is an underlying message in everything that I write. It is about hope, either the absence of or the existence of. It is when we are in dark times that true humanity reveals itself and we see the depths to which someone will go to survive, to save a loved one, etc. Most of the time my stories are well received, but there is the case of people who don’t get it. Having a book with Hitler on the cover doesn’t help, they tend to think I am a racist pushing an agenda. Reich is a story that has no heroes, I’m not glorifying anything, it’s just a story to make you think about who the villians really are.
What do you like most about your characters? Which one is your favourite?
I enjoy writing characters with flaws, either personal flaws or flaws that the society that they live in would identify as such. My favorite is peobably Serus Blackwell from my Dead Planet Series. My least favorite would be Jenna in Reich, I modeled her behavior and how she handled herself after my own mother (we don’t have a relationship due to bad blood between us, that probably shapes a lot of other things in my books as well).
What are your next projects? Tell us about your other books.
I am about to release a novella called Mr. Grimm which will be part of a serial series called “The Twin Cities Series”. I will be writing episodes along with some other authors. Mine will be the first one published and we plan on having at least one story published per month. It’s going to be a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well. Mr. Grimm is an old man who is enslaved by a vampire who calls himself the Raven. His sentence is carried out because he killed his wife who had been turned into a vampire. He did so in order to protect their daughter, so now he is between a rock and a hard place. He will either lose his soul as a heartless killer, or allow his daughter to die if he does not.
What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?
My life is busy with a family, full time job, and trying to break out in the writing world. My wife and I tend to watch a few shows on television pretty frequently, shows like The Big Bang Theory, Breaking Bad, Once Upon a Time. Then I have shows that I like such as Arrow.  The kids both take dance classes which keep them busy. I also play guitar and jam with some friends in a band. I also love to read.
Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?
I don’t know if I have a definitive answer on this, but I do read a lot of independent authors as well as traditionally published authors. James Rollins, Hugh Howey are two towards the top of the list in each realm. I enjoy the closeness that indie authors have with each other, we are all genuinely excited about publishing and helping each other out.
What are your views on independent publishing?
Love it, I can do what I want and succeed or fail on my own terms, just how God  intended it to be…
Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?
Hugh Howey just released Sand which I am wanting to read based on the raving reviews. I am also reading some serial novellas by David Wright, Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. I highly recommend Yesterday’s Gone and The Beam, those two series are quite good.
What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?
That I’m kind of weird, some people find it endearing, others find it kind of weird, lol.
What would you take to a remote island?
My family, a crap load of books, and enough survival gear to make living there a bit easier.
What else would you like us to know about you and your books? You can find my books on amazon at
www.amazon.com/author/drewavera  I have a lot of upcoming releases around the corner.



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